Olympic Bar Weight- UPDATED 2020

How much does a bench press bar weigh?

bodybuilder squating with olympic weights

If you're a fitness enthusiast, then you've probably done all kinds of research under the sun to optimize your workout performance. You've probably hit the gym from time-to-time watching others workout and lift weights, wondering which one you should be doing.

Remember back when you started weight-lifting at the gym and just walked over to the free weights and picked up a set of free-weight dumbbells to work out your biceps? Well, now you're in a place where you're ready to take it to the next level.

You're ready to purchase your own fitness equipment so you can take your workout home. However, before you go and purchase just any bar, you need to know the difference between a standard bar and an Olympic bar and how much an Olympic bar weighs. You also need to know the specific lengths so it fits on your weight bench.

Standard Weightlifting Bars

  • Lightweight
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Can’t hold more than 200 lbs

Instead of looking at pictures of a standard weightlifting bar versus an Olympic weightlifting bar, why not go down to your local gym to spot the difference. Once you see them side-to-side, you'll notice some noticeable differences.

Length Differences

Standard weightlifting bars are not as long as an Olympic barbell. They’re only about 5 to 6 feet long. When it comes to weight, the most you’re going to get out of a standard weightlifting bar is about 25 lbs. You’re also not going to get the best load capacity if you’re trying to lift or bench anything more than 200 lbs.

While standard weightlifting bars don’t sound too great to someone who is beyond that level, they’re great for beginners. However, for bench pressers, you’re only going to get about three feet of the bar in between the weights. There aren’t too many benefits to a standard bar if you’re already a hardcore trainer, but it’s nice to have the option for those who are just starting now. Now, let’s take a look at Olympic bars.

Olympic Bars

  • Heavier
  • For advanced weightlifting
  • Can hold up to 1,500 lbs

Think of Olympic bars as the beefier cousin to standard weightlifting bars. They’re bigger, longer, and can hold more weight. Compared to a standard weightlifting bar of 25 lbs, an Olympic Bar weight can run up to 45 lbs.

While a standard weightlifting bar is only 6 feet long, Olympic bars extend about a foot longer. That leaves more space between the weight if you’re planning on using an Olympic weight bench.

Weight Differences

Olympic weight bar

As far as the amount of weight an Olympic bar can hold, it can vary, but the maximum is about 1,500 lbs for load capacity. While they do have a heavier load capacity, keep in mind you cannot use standard weight plates for an Olympic bar.

You would have to use Olympic weight plates (with about 2-inch diameter holes for the bar). That's because Olympic bars are roughly 50mm (1 31/31") in diameter, while standard bars stop at around 25mm (1").

Types of Bars

Again, it all depends on the type of Olympic bar you decide to go with. You could find an Olympic bar with a 32mm center, but you can go as low as 28mm. Women have the option of finding custom bars that go as low as 25mm. Olympic bars are built for the weightlifting enthusiast who is ready to take their weightlifting to the next level. They're suitable for heavier lifts and more massive bench presses.

Grip Patterns

Another thing you have to keep in mind with Olympic bars are the knurl patterns. Knurl patterns are important. They're not just for aesthetic reasons; knurling patterns provide a performance boost and provide safety for someone lifting an Olympic bar. The knurling pattern on the bar is where you "grip." Knurling also helps you with hand placement and helps to supplement your grip for those who want to use their natural grip strength instead of relying on globes.

Depending on which company you go with for an Olympic bar, you may or may not find knurling in the center while standard weight bars have knurling in the bar's center. A "volcano-style" knurl is the most common with Olympic barbells because it gives the grip more surface area.  If you're going to go with an Olympic bar for your home gym, then it's recommended to get a good-quality Olympic weight bench.

Why You Should Get An Olympic Weight Bench

If you're planning on having a serious home gym or open up a weight training center, then having an Olympic bench is the way to go if you're a serious weight lifted or wish to attract weight lifters. Keep in mind, you're not just getting a bench press; you're getting a multi-purpose bench that can work more than only your chest and shoulders.

A good-quality Olympic weight bench will help anyone meet their fitness goals. This is the equipment you want to go with if you're going to reach an advanced training level. The quality of Olympic benches is a lot more durable than a standard weight bench. Not only that, but an Olympic weight bench hold heavier loads. You're also getting comfortable padding and enough adjustability so you can target the muscle groups you need more accurately.

It's a worthwhile investment to go with a weight bench, you know can help you meet your goals. You won't get a better gym experience from the comfort of your own home than with an Olympic weight bench. When you're ready to look for an affordable weight bench that is heavy on your arms, but not on your pockets, then check out some of the reviews for your future product.